Home > Journals > Minerva Pediatrica > Past Issues > Minerva Pediatrica 2006 June;58(3) > Minerva Pediatrica 2006 June;58(3):299-304





A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,532




Minerva Pediatrica 2006 June;58(3):299-304

language: Italian

Painful defecation and chronic functional constipation in children: diagnosis and treatment

Sabatino M. D., Borrelli M., Cautiero P., Romano M., Parmeggiani P., Marte A.

Dipartimento di Chirurgia Pediatrica Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Napoli


Painful defecation and chronic functional constipation in children: diagnosis and treatment
Aim. The aim of this study was to report our results on the treatment of chronic constipation associated with pain during defecation.
Methods. From January 1999 to January 2004, 60 patients (25 females, 35 males; age range, 6 months to 12 years) who met the ROMA II diagnostic criteria for chronic functional constipation associated with pain on defecation were enrolled in the study. All subjects underwent anorectal manometry to determine rectosphincter inhibitory reflex function. A retraining program for daily defecation, a diet high in fiber and lactulose, and local administration of prilocaine/lidocaine were instituted. At rectal anal endosonography, 7 drug-treatment-resistant patients presented with increased thickness of the internal anal sphincter and received botulin toxin A injection at the sphincter. Because symptoms persisted in 2 of these patients, they received a sphincterectomy.
Results. At the end of treatment, 40 (71.4%) of the 56 patients who completed the study had a daily bowel movement without pain; 9 experienced a relapse; in the 2 surgical patients the alveus returned to normal function at 2 and 6 weeks, respectively.
Conclusion. Our treatment strategy breaks the vicious circle of spasm-pain-spasm with use of prolonged analgesic treatment and feces softener over the course of the day. In treatment-resistant patients with functioning rectosphincter reflexes and thickened internal anal sphincter, administration of botulin toxin A may be a valuable aid in place of standard sphincterectomy.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Corresponding author e-mail